Cat-eLog Right Arrow Mochokidae Right Arrow Mochokinae Right Arrow Synodontis

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Scientific Name Synodontis macrostoma  Skelton & White, 1990
Common Names Largemouth Squeaker
Grootbek-skreeubaber (South African)
Type Locality Upper Zambezi River at Katima Mulilo, Caprivi, Namibia.
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss
Etymology According to Cuvier, Synodontis is an "ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile". It is apparently not derived, as often reported, from syn-, together and odous, tooth, presumed etymology of the lizardfish genus Synodus and in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth of both genera. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 92mm or 3.6" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification All species in the genus Synodontis have a hardened head cap that has attached a process (humeral process) which is situated behind the gill opening and pointed towards the posterior. The dorsal fin and pectoral fins have a hardened first ray which is serrated. Caudal fin is always forked. There is one pair of maxillary barbels, sometimes having membranes and occasionally branched. The two pairs of mandibular barbels are often branched and can have nodes attached. The cone-shaped teeth in the upper jaw are short. S-shaped and movable in the lower jaw. These fish produce audible sounds when disturbed rubbing the base of the pectoral spine against the pectoral girdle.

D 1, 6; A v-vi, 7-8. A long snout, large mouth, and a distinctive premaxillary toothpad are diagnostic features. Mouth usually below level of pectoral girdle, premaxillary toothpad broad, with broad ventral shelf, primary teeth 22-31, distinct from secondary teeth, mandibular teeth 13-21 in a narrow band. Maxillary barbels simple, without basel membrane; mandibular barbel branches short and stubby. Caudal fin forked. Small spots on head, body with small and large spots, underside clear.
Sexing First lay the fish in your hand with its head toward your palm and the tail toward your fingers. Hold the dorsal spine between your middle and ring finger so the fish is belly up and you won't get punctured by the sharp fin spines (which hurts - be careful). The genital pore is in a small furrow of tissue (in healthy fish) and will be obstructed by the pelvic fins. Pull down on the tail gently to arch the fishes spine and the pelvic fins will stand and the furrow open to display the genital pore and the anus of the fish. The male has a somewhat ridged genital papillae on which the spermatoduct is on the back side, facing the tail fin. A gravid female will also show an extended papillae but the oviduct is on the ventral side of the papillae. It may also show a little redness if really gravid. A thin or emaciated female will have just two pink pores, the oviduct and the anus.
General Remarks It is most likely that this species is restricted to rocky environments. See also Skelton, P (2001) A Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa. Struik, pg254. Seegers, (2008) The Catfishes of Africa pg.442.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Occurs in the Kafue, Upper Zambezi, Okavango and the Cunene Rivers
African Waters, Zambesi, Upper Zambesi (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Zambesi, Kafue (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Okavango (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Cunene (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Status Least Concern
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Breeding Unreported
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
Reference Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters v. 1 (no. 3), pp 281, Figs. 3 (a-b).
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Last Update 2019 Oct 13 03:48 (species record created: 2010 Dec 15 18:34)